Cranbrooks Gyro Swimming Pool
With the ongoing success of the pool assured, in 1939 the Gyros turned the ownership and operation of the Gyro pool over to the City of Cranbrook. On Thursday evening, July 27th, 1939, the Cranbrook Gyro Club made a formal presentation of the pool to the citizens of Cranbrook in the guise of Mayor T.M. Roberts. In recognition of the effort and dedication required to see such an immense project through to completion during the trying times of the Great Depression, a permanent memorial fountain was constructed and sited within the pool. True partners to the end, the Gyro Club tendered to the City $250.00 to help with the costs of installation. Situated in the centre of the pool the fountain commemorated the Gyro vision until the pool was finally closed in 1969.
Sadly the facility, which was born of the native ingenuity and opportunity of a community making its way in an emerging economy and developing province, could not keep pace with the growing bureaucracy and health regulations. Provincial regulations which came into effect January 1, 1968, set standards for bacterial count and clarity which could not be met , condemning the big tank with its natural water supply. Bowing to pressure the City of Cranbrook filled in the hole in Joseph's Creek that had entertained generations of Cranbrook's youth. The largest and most attractive outdoor pool in western Canada became a grassy plain used by dog obedience schools and football practices.
As a footnote it should be known that the City of Cranbrook firemen still (2010) continue one of the secondary uses of the pool site. In 1930 the Gyros flooded the pool for winter, attempting to mitigate the effects of frost. The City put up some lights and the pool instantly became a very popular free skating rink. The citizens of Cranbrook were delighted but the Cranbrook Amateur Athletic Association was appalled. The C.A.A.A. operated the Arena on a contract from the City and appealed to City Council to end the unfair and City-sanctioned competition. The City of Cranbrook responded by removing the lights.
Now in the 21st century, with growing pressures on Cranbrook's available ice time, the treat of free outdoor skating is embraced by young and old. Harkening back to a much earlier time, the large outdoor rink rings with the sound of hockey and the thrill of families teaching the very young their first skating moves.
With a huge gap in Cranbrook's summer entertainment, the City moved to set aside $300,000 in the forecast expenditures for 1970 and an additional $170,000 in 1971 for a replacement pool. A crucial swimming pool meeting was held on May 22nd, 1969, to hear the proposals of the Cranbrook Recreation Commission with regard to a new pool. The costs were astronomical for the day, and Alderman Ed Leonard proposed building a new pool "on a community basis."